Jiang Zhaohong: the Founder of China Rock Eagle Boxing

Jiang Zhaohong (1915-1997), named Luya, styled Zhaohong. Due to the lack of water in his five elements, so his infant name was Jiang Shui(water). He was born in a small village called Kengshan in Xuntian town, Xinning county, Hunan province.

Jiang Zhaohong’s father, Jiang Jueji, also styled Zhou Qing (1888-1963), followed Cai E(a general) in the National Defense War in his early years, and was finally promoted to deputy division commander of the national revolutionary army because of his military achievements. When Jiang Zhaohong was six or seven years old, his father sent him to study in the local famous Qinglong Academy. The ancestral hall of the Jiang clan was built not far from his home. Some wealthy families invited martial arts masters to teach young children martial arts here. After school and in the evening, he often came to the ancestral hall to see the master teach his elder brothers and uncles to practice martial arts (In fact, while the master taught his apprentices, others were not allowed to watch, but Jiang Zhaohong’s father was the leader of Jiang clan, so he was allowed to watch exceptionally). Slowly, he started practicing with his fists and legs.

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After graduating from Zhaoling Middle School in Shaoyang city, his father took him to Changsha(capital of Hunan province), hoping that he could continue his study. For his advance to high school smoothly, his father asked a teacher to tutor him on holidays for subjects not offered in Zhaoling Middle School. At that time, his fasther’s military camp was next to the Provincial National Martial Arts School. The sound of the military camp and the martial arts school deeply attracted Jiang Zhaohong, who had been fond of martial arts since childhood, and already had a certain martial arts skill. Therefore, he did not care about the teacher’s supplementary courses and whether he could continue to study. Every time the teacher came to make up a lesson, he was found lying on the wall to see how the apprentices in the National Martial Arts School were punching and kicking. He was also absent-minded when the teacher giving lectures. The teacher had to tell his father about it.

After knowing this, commander Jiang thought that since his son liked martial arts, he might as well send him to the National Martial Arts School to practice it. Therefore, he sent Jiang Zhaohong to martial arts school for formal study, regardless of the expensive tuition of 800 yuan per year.

In the autumn of 1935, Jiang Zhaohong graduated with second place. After graduation, he stayed in the National Martial Arts School as an instructor for three years.

In September 1939, the first battle of Changsha broke out. Jiang Jueji, the father of Jiang Zhaohong, the deputy division commander of the national revolutionary army at that time, was ordered to lead his troops to resist the enemy at the Xinqiang River, and he also brought his son, Jiang Zhaohong, who was the platoon commander in his own army, to the battlefield to fight against Japanese army.

After the war, his father asked Jiang Zhaohong to return to his hometown and set up a martial arts school in Shaoyang city. During this period, Jiang Zhaohong, through exploration and research, based on his proficiency in eagle boxing, crane boxing, monkey boxing, swallow boxing, dragon boxing, tiger boxing,Nanquan, etc., combining the strengths of each boxing, inheriting and developing the eagle claw moves of Li Jingguo (an Anyang village native) who was a martial arts expert in Yidushui town in the late Qing Dynasty, then finally created two 24-stroke “Rock Eagle Boxing”.

It was said that Jiang Zhaohong’s martial arts such as darts, yuanyangtui (mandarin duck legs), qingong, qigong, wrestling and stabbing were superb.

Later, due to the further tension of the situation, Shaoyang was bombed by Japanese aircrafts, Jiang Zhaohong had to return to his hometown and teach at Yalantian primary school. It was said that Jiang Zhaohong was very good at geography, so he didn’t need to bring books in class. When students expressed doubt, he asked the students to point out a certain piece of knowledge, he then knew the answer in which page, there was nothing wrong with it.

In 1944, the Japanese stationed troops in Tianning village, Tangweitou, Huilongshi town. Jiang Zhaohong once detected that a small group of Japanese army had gone out, so he lead the joint defense team to Lintianping and successfully ambushed the Japanese army and killed more than a dozen Japanese soldiers. After the victory of the war of resistance against Japanese aggression, Jiang Zhaohong did not go out, but set up a martial arts hall at home to teach apprentices and offered traditional Chinese medicine treatment for the villagers.

After the 1960s, with his superb medical skills, Jiang Zhaohong practiced medicine in his hometown and saved people’s lives. He passed away of no illness at the age of 83 in 1997. In the past few decades, many people’s injuries have been cured by him. Over the years, people have been marveling at the profound martial arts of Jiang Zhaohong, a martial arts master and founder of Rock Eagle Boxing, and at the same time, praising his kind deeds of saving the dying and healing the wounded!

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